Jobless claims surge to a five-year high - Stocks & economy - MSNBC.com The Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of applications for jobless benefits soared to 448,000, an increase of 44,000 from the previous week. That was far worse than the decline of 8,000 that economists had been expecting. The overall total of 448,000 claims for last week surpassed the previous high for the current slowdown of 406,000 in late March. It was the highest claims level since they totaled 450,000 the week of April 19, 2003, a period when the country was struggling through a jobless recovery following the 2001 recession. Remember it was only January 2008 and the GOP candidates were all saying that Michigan was in a one state recession and the economy was strong? I knew that was a lie based on the news I was seeing. I knew Bush was using fuzzy math all along. Fudging the numbers. They werent counting people who stopped receiving unemployment benefits. They were counting all the new government jobs Bush created. Those jobs are a drag on all of us because tax payers pay those salaries. Same with Haloburton & Blackwater salaries. They said wages were up, but I didn't see anyone bragging that their wages were up. And they probably counted the minimum wage increase. And I knew the only jobs being added were low paying jobs. Not to mention the dollar isn't worth a dollar anymore and the cost of living has gone up. Sure, when you count the CEOs now making $20 million and the vps now making a 5 million a year and all the guys directly below them now making $1 million a year and the guys below them making $500K a year. Sure wages may be up overall, but not the middle class. I just knew everything the GOP was saying was bullshit. Their economy was never strong the entire 8 years. Or if it was, they left us out. Time for a change.